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TOWER staff branch out

Four members of TOWER Investment’s equities team have set up their own boutique fund management firm, and are believed to have asked Tower’s former head of investments to be their chief executive.

Thursday, May 9th 2013, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

TOWER Investments was bought by Fisher Funds for $79 million. The deal settled last month. All of its equities team was made redundant.

The new firm, Castle Point Funds Management,  incorporated on April 26, has Richard Stubbs, Stephen Bennie, Jamie Young and Gordon Sims as directors and shareholders.

Stubbs was TOWER’s head of equities, Bennie was equities manager and Young and Sims were analysts.

Bennie said they had been pondering the venture for a while because it had been clear that Fisher Funds was a likely new owner of TOWER Investments, and there would be no place for them on staff.

There is no restraint of trade in their contracts and they had told Carmel Fisher of their plans.

“I think we’re in a different space. We’re looking to be a high-grade, fully-resourced institutional equity manager. I see that as a different space from the more retail Fisher Funds.”

Castle Point hopes to be operating a transtasman equities fund in a couple of months. Bennie said it was exactly what the four had been doing at TWER, where they managed about $400 million and invested in about 20 New Zealand companies. “We built a top quartile track record in the priod we were managing it. We believe that track record is transferable.”

Sam Stubbs, no relation to Richard, is on “gardening leave” from Fisher Funds for six months. Bennie said he was restricted in what he could say but Castle Point had invited a prominent investment chief executive to be Castle Point’s CEO.

The name Castle Point was used for the lighthouse imagery, to create some continuity with the Tower brand. Bennie said it also reflected their conservative  approach to investment.

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